Canada’s Golden Girls Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse Win Bobsleigh World Cup Opener

—Team Spring charges into fourth in World Cup four-man bobsleigh—


CALGARY—Canada’s reigning Olympic women’s bobsleigh champs, Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse, reunited in the Canada 1 sled for the first time in four years, and blazed a record-setting track to the top of the podium.

The Canadian duo shattered the field after clocking a two-run combined time of one minute, 52.77 seconds (1:52.77) to win the season-opening Calgary World Cup, presented by The Globe and Mail at Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park on Saturday.

“When Heather came back this summer, everything just felt so comfortable right away and I have nothing to worry about,” said the 28-year-old Humphries. “We had two awesome pushes today that surpassed my expectations, and it is great to start the season with a win.”

It was the 14th straight podium finish for Humphries spanning three years that includes 11 victories – two being World Championship titles – one silver and two bronze medals.

“Nobody puts more pressure on us to win than we do ourselves,” said Moyse, a multi-sport athlete who had hip surgery just weeks prior to making Canada’s World Cup silver-medal winning rugby squad this summer before setting personal best start records in the fall once rejoining the Canadian bobsleigh program for the Olympic run.

Posting start and track records around the world when they first team up in 2009, Humphries and the 35-year-old Moyse wasted no time digging back into their old bag of tricks.

The Canucks posted a new Calgary start record of 5.48 in the opening bomb down the 14-corner track, which was bettered by the silver medal winning American duo of Elana Meyers and Aja Evans at 5.47 in the second run (1:53.33).

The final sled of the night, Humphries and Moyse stole the show, reclaiming the start record at 5.45, and set a new Canadian track record at 55.44 while sliding into the winner’s circle.

“Of course those records matter. There are steps to every race and I thrive on setting start records and do my job to help put Kaillie in a better position going down the track,” said Moyse. “It is awesome to be back, and it just felt like an old shoe today.”

“It is a game within the game between us and the Americans and the Germans at the start. We have great respect for them, and it will be like this all year,” added Humphries. “We know we have a target on our backs. Our goal is to keep doing our job and hopefully keep winning.”

The USA 2 team of Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling slid to the bronze-medal position of the women’s podium with a time of 1:53.62.

The Canada 2 team of Edmonton’s Jenny Ciochetti and Chelsea Valois, of Zenon Park, Sask., placed ninth with a time of 1:54.35. Valois has also played a critical role in Humphries’ historic run where she pushed the blonde bomber to 10 straight podium finishes last season, including seven victories.

Earlier in the day, Canada’s Team Spring finished just shy of the podium in fourth spot after putting down the fastest second run of the day (54.49) in the men’s four-man bobsleigh race.

The 29-year-old Australian-born pilot, Chris Spring and his newly-formed crew of Jesse Lumsden, of Burlington, Ont., Ottawa’s Cody Sorensen and Saskatoon’s Ben Coakwell, climbed four spots in the standings after a near flawless second trip down the 14-corner track to clock a two-run time of 1:48.67.

“I’m a little disappointed right now, but I’m sure when I step away from this week and look back at the race I will say it wasn’t so bad,” said Spring, who won his first career two-man World Cup medal on Friday night when he and Lumsden were third.

“It is such a tight field and to come away with the quickest run is a good thing. But do to anything in this sport you have to be consistent, and know when to step it up. We pushed well at the top and stepped up on the second run.”

American Steven Holcomb completed the double gold sweep in Calgary. The Olympic champ and his crew of Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Langton and Christopher Fogt, finished on top at 1:48.56.

Germany’s Maximillian Arndt, Marko Huebenbecker, Alexander Roediger and Martin Putz slid to a tie for second place at 1:48.65 with Russia’s Alexander Zubkov and his crew consisting of Alexey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov, and Maxim Mokrousov.

Two other Canadian sleds also ended up in the top-10. Lyndon Rush, of Humboldt, Sask., piloted the Canada 1 crew of Edmontonian’s David Bissett and Neville Wright, along with Calgary’s Lascelles Brown to a sixth-place finish (1:48.88).

Justin Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and his team of James McNaughton, of Newmarket, Ont., Toronto’s Tim Randall and Graeme Rinholm, of Medicine Hat, Alta., placed ninth at 1:49.02.

Canada’s bobsleigh and skeleton athletes now head to Park City, Utah for the second stop on the Viessmann World Cup.

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Complete Results:

Top-Five Women’s Bobsleigh Results:

1. Kaillie Humphries, Calgary/Heather Moyse, Summerside, P.E.I., CAN 1, 1:52.77; 2. Elana Meyers/Aja Evans, USA 1, 1:53.33; 3. Jamie Greubel/Katie Eberling, USA 1, 1:53.62; 4. Cathleen Martini/Christin Senkel, GER, 1:53.79; 5. Anja Schneiderheinze/Stephanie Schneider, GER, 1:53.99

Other Canadian Results:

9. Jenny Ciochetti, Edmonton/Chelsea Valois, Zenon Park, Sask., CAN 2, 1:54.35

Top-Five Men’s Four-Man Bobsleigh Results:

1. Holcomb/Tomasevicz/Langton/Fogt, USA 1, 1:48.56; T2. Arndt/Huebenbecker/Roediger/Putze, GER 1, 1:48.65; T2. Zubkov/Negodaylo/Trunenkov/Mokrousov, RUS 1, 1:48.65; 4. Spring, Calgary/Lumsden, Burlington, Ont./Sorensen, Ottawa/Coakwell, Saskatoon, CAN 2 1:48.67; 5. Florschuetz/Listner/Kuske/Poser, GER 2

Other Canadian Results:

6. Rush, Humboldt, Sask./Bissett, Edmonton/Wright, Edmonton Brown, Calgary, CAN 1, 1:48.88; 9. Kripps, Summerland, B.C./McNaughton, Newmarket, Ont./Randall, Toronto/Rinholm, Medicine Hat, Alta., CAN 3, 1:49.02.